Peak oil, in case you forgot, was another environmentalist-enforced energy
truth, which insisted we’d been so prodigal with fossil fuels that we were
on the cusp of running out of oil. The urgency of this crisis, the fossil-fuel
doomsdayers insisted, required us to transition even more aggressively to
renewable technology, whatever the cost. Inconveniently, new technologies
suddenly began unlocking more unconventional oil and gas reserves than we
knew existed and will probably ever use.
Ian Anderson should have known that oil executives are meant to be seen and not heard from. Has the president of Kinder Morgan Canada not realized yet the unspoken deal?
Canadians get to keep using, extracting and selling fossil fuels on the condition that we all make like we’re utterly ashamed of it. When energy executives so much as hint publicly that we’re doing anything less than ravaging the planet, as Anderson did recently, it upsets a delicate balance.
Speaking to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade Thursday, Anderson dared say he had no firm idea about how much humans were causing climate change. “There is science that will suggest one path to climate change and mankind’s influence on it and there is another path that exists … I’ve read the science on both sides and I don’t pretend to be smart enough to know which is right,” he said in an address that presumably had nothing else in it apparently warranting the national coverage that one statement instantly gained.
Reporters, spotting the subversive thought, quickly dialled up climate scientists who could discipline Anderson’s indifference.
Not unlike Jordan Peterson, the University of Toronto psychology professor who has ignited a free-speech inferno by speaking out against the criminalization of language that fails to validate non-binary gender identities, Anderson was setting himself up to be re-educated.
The pipeline executive’s comments were “disturbing,” admonished one climatology professor. For the head of a company seeking approval for a pipeline from the oilsands to the West Coast to be “ignorant” on climate change was “embarrassing.” Another noted, “The science is clear. It’s been clear for decades,” and for Anderson to “say he’s read the science on both sides suggests to me he doesn’t understand what science is.”
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